Lengua (Beef Tongue Recipe/ Rinderzunge Rezept) – This beef tongue with Madeira sauce recipe is just perfect. It is mild and tender yet full of flavours. With some simple household ingredients, you can cook gourmet food at home too!
I had never eaten beef tongue before and never thought that I would. When my husband first introduced this dish to me, to be honest, I was not impressed about it at all. I mean, why would a person eat the tongue of a cow? As a result, my mother-in-law had to cook it for me, and I was surprised because it was very delicious. It was not as bad as I thought it would be.
This beef tongue recipe is my husband’s favourite food in the whole wide world, and I can totally understand why. This recipe is very easy, yet it brings out the best of a lengua. There is no need for fancy ingredients (other than the beef tongue itself) or any fancy cooking method. All you require is some vegetables, seasoning and time.
While the beef tongue is cooking, you will have time to do something else. It is definitely a win-win situation for me. If you have a chance to try this recipe out, then you should absolutely do it. This is one of my family’s favourite food, and I do not think that you will regret trying this recipe.
How does beef tongue taste like?
Beef tongue tastes mild and tender. In my opinion, lengua does not taste like any other parts of a cow. If it is cooked right, the meat should “melt” on your tongue because it is very tender meat. Even my 1-year-old son (who only has 8 teeth) could easily chew on it, and my children love this beef tongue recipe.
Tips on making this Beef Tongue Recipe
Lengua/ Beef Tongue: Lengua (Rinderzunge in German) is obviously the superstar of this beef tongue recipe. In Germany, you have to pre-order it at the local butchery. You can choose between smoked beef tongue and the plain version of it. Both types of tongues can be used in this simple recipe. However, the amount of salt required differs (refer to Seasoning).
Vegetables: In Germany, soup vegetables (Suppengrün) are readily available in grocery stores. A packet of soup vegetables usually contains knob celery, carrots, leek and a bunch of fresh parsley. Vegetables are essential to add strong flavours to the broth, which in turn is important for the sauce of this beef tongue recipe, which I will post next week.
Seasoning: My mother-in-law and I prefer using smoked lengua because it has an intense flavour, and it is already salted. As a result, I use two tablespoons of salt for the broth. If you decide to use non-smoked tongue, you will need about three tablespoons of salt.
The broth should be salty enough for the base of the sauce (recipe is coming soon), which is why I frequently do not add additional salt to my sauce. In addition, the beef tongue will be well seasoned. However, simply adjust the amount of salt according to your preference.
How to make this Beef Tongue Recipe
Firstly, wash vegetables and cut them into large chunks. You do not need to peel the vegetables (other than the onion) because it is easier for us and the broth will be tastier.
Secondly, add in smoked beef tongue and vegetables into a pressure cooker. If you do not have a pressure cooker, simply use a suitable pot. Thereafter, pour water into the pressure cooker (or pot). Be sure to cover the lengua with water.
Add in the bay leaves, pepper and salt. As mentioned, if you are using smoked beef tongue, you will need less salt. If you are using plain lengua, feel free to use about 3 tablespoons of salt. The broth is meant for sauce making afterwards, so it is important to bring out the best of the broth. You can adjust the amount of salt according to your taste.
Cook the beef tongue in a pressure cooker for about 1.5 to 2 hours (or about 3 to 4 hours in a normal pot). Take note of the manufacturer’s instruction of your pressure cooker. Once it is cooked, take out the tongue and run it under cold water. If you can easily peel the outer skin, then it is ready. If you cannot peel the hard skin easily, then cook it again for another 30 minutes. This is really important because if the tongue is not cooked long enough, you will not get a tender meat and this is not what we want.
Remove the hard skin. You can leave it as it is or further remove any light pink or black parts on the lengua. I personally like to remove all light pink and dark parts of the beef tongue. This will leave you only the dark pink coloured part of the tongue. If you are unsure of, how it looks like, then check out my video below.
Remember to sieve the broth and discard the vegetables. Save this broth for the sauce. Lastly, cut the beef tongue into slices. This beef tongue recipe goes perfectly with a delicious Madeira sauce (part II of this recipe).
How to serve lengua
Just like my venison recipe, this beef tongue recipe is always served with traditional German Spätzle at my home. As for our vitamins, my kids go crazy over this German red cabbage recipe. Another great side dish idea will be this simple Lamb’s lettuce salad recipe. I have never tried other combinations, and I do not think that my family wants it other way because it is just a perfect combination.
As for the sauce, we always make a Madeira sauce. For more information and kids-friendly tips, be sure to wait for next week’s post. Additionally, you can also serve this main dish with an additional lingonberry sauce or just a simple lingonberry jam (it saves you some time).
How to store beef tongue
We love this beef tongue recipe, when it is made fresh. However, if you have some leftovers, you can keep them in an airtight container and store the meat for about 2 days in the refrigerator. Simply reheat the lengua in the sauce over medium heat and add some Madeira wine to ease the reheating process.
You can freeze the cooked meat for several months. However, a change in texture or taste might be unavoidable, just like other frozen food. Simply slice the meat and freeze it using a suitable freezer container (or bag). Freeze broth and meat separately. However, if you could freeze the raw tongue and cook it when you need it. That would be a better choice.
Have you tried this recipe? If yes, I hope you enjoy the recipe as much as my family does. Show me and tag me #chenguins on social media, so that I can see your recreation as well.
Have you tried a beef tongue recipe before? Tell me in the comment section below!
Until next time & guten Appetit!
Greetings from the Black Forest,
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Beef Tongue Recipe
Ingredients you need
- 1 bunch of fresh parsley
- 1 Onion (peeled)
- 2 Bay leaves
- 10 Peppercorns
- 1,2 kg Smoked beef tongue size may vary
- 2 tbsp Salt
- 1.7 l Water or cover the tongue
- Wash vegetables and cut them into large chunks. No peeling is required.
- In a pressure cooker, add in smoked beef tongue and vegetables. If you do not have a pressure cooker, simply use a suitable pot.
- Pour water into the pressure cooker (or pot). Be sure to cover the lengua with water.
- Add in the bay leaves, pepper corns and salt. If you are using smoked beef tongue, you will need less salt. If you are using plain lengua, feel free to use about 3 tablespoons of salt. The broth is meant for sauce making afterwards, so it is important to bring out the best of the broth. You can adjust the amount of salt according to your taste.
- Cook beef tongue in pressure cooker for about 1.5 to 2 hours (or about 3 to 4 hours in a normal pot).
- Once it is cooked, take out the tongue and run it under cold water. If you can easily peel the outer skin, then it is ready. If you cannot peel the hard skin easily, then cook it again for another 30 minutes. Remove the hard skin. You can leave it as it is or further remove any white or black parts on the lengua.
- Sieve the broth and discard the vegetables. Save this broth for the sauce (part II of this recipe).
- Cut the beef tongue into slices and serve with a delicious Madeira sauce (part II of this recipe).
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